About the Writer
KURT J. KOLKA
Kurt J. Kolka grew up in Grayling, Mich., just two blocks from the beautiful AuSable River. Grayling is a small community where people live who love the outdoors. Many are canoe paddlers or kayakers, hikers, wood crafters, fishermen and/or hunters. If it is about nature, the residents and most visitors love it.
Kurt has loved writing and art since he was very young. He wrote his first novelette in sixth-grade and passed it around the class. He studied mostly literature, writing/journalism and art in high school. At Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich., he continued down the same path, earning an A.A. degree. Later at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind. he received his B.A. in English.
Since then, Kurt has spent his life in various aspects of the journalism and newspaper fields, doing everything from writing/photography to PhotoShop work to editing and lay-out. Over the years, he has written articles for the Gaylord Herald Times, Northern Star, Weekly Choice, UpNorth Voice, Crawford County Avalanche and Traverse City Record-Eagle.
During his more than 20 years in various aspects of the newspaper business, he has written, photographed or created:
Local news & events
Series of stories on bullying
In 2014, Kurt became a freelance writer for various publications and published his first book, "Bullying is No Laughing Matter" (Front Edge Publishing, LLC, Ann Arbor, Mich.). He has also given presentations on bullying to schools, churches and various organizations since its publication. His knowledge on the subject has come from not only experts in the field, but his own personal experience of being bullied for about 10 years in public school.
In 2018, Kurt became the editor of an online Christian newspaper, "North Michigan Christian Voice." This site is part of a group of such news sites around the nation known collectively as One Christian Voice. North Michigan Christian Voice can be found at https://nmichchristianvoice.com
Beyond news writing, Kurt has written an ongoing comic strip since 1990. He created "The Cardinal" comic for a local shopping guide and two years later it came out in its own annual publication, "Cardinal Adventures," which was given away for free at gas stations, restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets and bookstores in 12 Michigan counties from 1992 to 2006. After that, it became a web comic for readers. the Cardinal's adventures can still be read online at www.thecardinal.org.
Besides being an experienced writer and artist, Kurt is a Christian. He believes his creative abilities come from God and are part of his calling to serve God and others. While he writes a wide variety of stories, he does so with a heart for God. He especially enjoys writing features on those who have experienced God and devotionals which encourage people to spend time with their Savior and grow closer to Him.
Kurt is currently working on his first novel, tentatively titled, "Afraid We Are Not."